Quest for Happiness: One Month Down

qfh

Friends, it’s time to get serious.

The first week that I began pursuing goals I really wanted to accomplish, I did really, really well. Since then, my success has fallen on a downward slope. Don’t get me wrong: there has been some partial successes some weeks and definitely some forward momentum, but flipping the same coin, there has been plenty that I haven’t accomplished and plenty that I haven’t done that I wanted to; that I should’ve done.

Of course, life will always find ways to get in the way. I refuse to regret taking a mental health day, sleeping in and beating Technomancer on the PS4 while eating a pizza instead of sticking with the rigid structure of the routine. I won’t feel bad about socializing a bit more these past few weeks and falling behind as a reason. I can’t control that the only time I have to write blog posts are when I have down time at work and the entirety of last week, there was no downtime to be had. I refuse to beat myself up for life getting in the way and causing some detours in my quest towards happiness.

Yet I also need to get a bit more serious.

Though I’m aware of these goals in the back of my mind, quite often, I find myself not even attempting them. Writing an outline, for example. I’ve had that on my To-Do list for the past two weeks, yet haven’t even attempted it once. Or balancing my checkbook. Or sneaking in five minutes to read instead of messing around on my phone. Reaching the third week in a row–and rounding out the first month having three out of the four weeks with more near successes (if that) than successes–where I haven’t come close to accomplishing all of my short-term goals, it snapped my eyes open and made me ask:

How bad do you want this?

Do you want a body that you’re proud of? Do you want to look in the mirror and smile instead of frown? Do you want to write one more book than you did last year? Do you want to query by August? Do you want to read more books and be happier because you’re reading consistently again? Do you want to increase your blogging output and perhaps even your readership? Do you want to manage your money more wisely and be more aware of what you spend, how you spend it and what creating a budget is like?

Of course, the answer, to all of those questions, is yes. But the answer to the first question; how badly do I actually want all of those things?

That answer will be revealed in next week’s post.

Fitness:

  • Long-term Goal: Shape the body I want and become healthier.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Four days in a row.
    • Status: Close! Made it three days and tried out a new machine that made my legs feel like spaghetti noodles.
  • This Week’s Goal: Four days in a row. Plus, try out new fitness regime that my gracious, lovely and BAMF friend created for me to help me achieve my fitness goals.

Writing:

  • Long-term Goal: Edit three books, write four new books and query at least one.
  • Last Weeks Goal: Write four times. Outline novel.
    • Status: Negative. Definitely choose naps and video games over writing last week. And the constant itch I’ve felt since I last wrote reflects that.
  • This Week’s Goal: Write four times. Outline novel. Draft short story.

Reading:

  • Long-term Goal: Read 60 books.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Finish The Lies of Locke Lamora and write review.
    • StatusNegative. Remember those naps I took and the video game I beat? Yeah, they cut into writing time, too. And after I went to the library and got a beautiful book haul, including the sequel to this fantastic read, I need to crank out this ending so I can keep on keeping on.
  • This Week’s Goal: Finish The Lies of Locke Lamora and write review.

Blogging:

  • Long-term Goal: Increase output over all three blogs, i.e., post more consistently.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Keep up blogging schedule.
    • Status: Negative. I didn’t post anything on the blogs this past week. Definitely gotta amp up my game on that one.
  • This Week’s Goal: Reattempt blogging schedule.

Financial:

  • Long-term Goal: Manage money with more awareness, start retirement fund and build savings.
  • Last Week’s Goal: Actually.balance.checkbook.
    • StatusNegative. Checkbooks are, apparently, made to remain unbalanced. My friend suggested I try out a budgeting/money tracking app, instead. I downloaded one called Wally and though I haven’t messed with it too much, yet, at least attempting to use it should be more promising than the risk of going a month without balancing my checkbook.
  • This Week’s Goal: Try out budgeting app.

Cheers!

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About Nicole Evans

Nicole Evans is a writer of fantasy and science fiction. She is currently unpublished and is working fervently to get the “un” removed from that statement. She has five completed manuscripts: a trilogy about destined heroes that fail anyway, a science fiction standalone that pits the natural desire to love against the natural instinct to kill during the extinction of the human race and a new series about a writer who can't get published and gets the chance to live a life that all writers dream. She also has two scripts done. Currently, she is about to start writing the second of a nine book series while planning two more. (If you can tell, she really likes this whole writing thing.) Considering she has run out of space for putting rejections letters up on her wall, Nicole now uses her spare time doing the typical things that nerds do: blogging, dying repeatedly during video games (which she believes is retribution for the characters’ she’s killed), wishing she was the character she is currently reading about and trying to fight off the real world by living in her own head, with varying degrees of success. Nicole has a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Film and Media Studies, and works part-time as a supervisor in a library at the University of Kansas. View all posts by Nicole Evans

10 responses to “Quest for Happiness: One Month Down

  • Leoma Retan

    Wow, Nicole. You set yourself a lot of tasks for one week! I’d like to make a tiny suggestion (which you are of course free to ignore). Set slightly smaller goals–ones you can reasonably achieve–next week. When you do achieve more of them, it’s likely to make you feel better about yourself. Do the same the following week. Then gradually increase the goals once you get used to meeting the smaller ones. I know from experience that it can be frustrating to continually miss goals, sometimes to the point that I give up on them for the week–which only makes it harder to get back on track. Best of luck in achieving all of your goals.

    • Nicole Evans

      Lee, thank you so much for your advice. Ironically, the goals that are listed here *is* my attempt to start off small. *facepalm* I’ve always had a “go big or go home” mentality and I just have so much I want to accomplish/achieve, so it’s hard to just pick one of these things to focus on, so instead, I’m just trying to balance all of them. But you’re right, if I get into the habit of missing goals, I’ll form the habit of not wanting to try and get discouraged. If I miss them again this week, I may have to use your advice and try to take a step back even further than what I thought was a good, small “starting” point for goals. We’ll see how it pans out!

  • Jessica M

    Ooh, what video game did you beat? The only video game I play now is Sims every once in a while, and that’s unbeatable. And Candy Crush Soda. But we won’t go there.

    As for budgeting, have you tried Mint? I’ve tried apps and stuff but the only app that works for me is my bank’s app. My budgeting consists of checking my statement every couple of days and calculating the rest of the month on a scrap of a paper once a week. Because gas and extra stuff that I always forget to budget in. And writing bill due dates down on the calendar. Because I am a forgetful head. But I’m getting better!

    • Nicole Evans

      Haha, it’s called Technomancer (I’m actually hoping to write a review over it this week!). It was a game I stumbled upon and was pleasantly surprised!
      I thought about trying Mint (I’m not too sure about this Wally one, but I haven’t messed around with it too much). I’m honestly not even really looking for a budgetting app, persay. I really just want to keep a running total of what I’m spending so I’m always aware, instead of going on spurts when I have no idea what’s in my bank account or what’s coming in or out. But you’re right, I’m the exact same. I always forget about this thing or that expense…oh adulting, how I’m not sure if I’ll ever grow fond of you. 😛

      • Jessica M

        Ah, wasn’t that a book, I believe? Not sure if they’re related, though. I would look forward to that review!

        Mint is a good tool for categorizing spending habits! I was pleasantly surprised at how good its automatic categorizing works, though some I still had to manually input. Though it’s so much better than the ole’ Quicken. Give it a whirl!

        Adulting sucks, but at least it can be productive at times! But other times, it’s a freaking grind. Nowadays, there’s nothing more satisfying than having an empty kitchen sink. It’s the small things 😀

  • justbmoreblog

    You totally got this!!!!! I believe in you, lol! (Seriously tho, I really do!)

  • Olivia

    Keep it up Nicole – just recording your goals and knowing where you stand in progress can be half the battle. It means you really can find that satisfaction and pride when completing them, because you know how long it took you to accomplish them and how difficult it was to set aside the time. Now go forward and meet those goals – and really take the time once you get there to appreciate yourself for persevering!!

  • Marie E. Stump

    Again, we’re in similar places. I definitely understand taking time for naps and mental health breaks and socializing! Still, it can kind of be bittersweet sometimes, can’t it? Here’s hoping we both get more on track here this week! We got this. 💪🏼

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